Books

Top 5 books about female friendships, chosen by Salma El-Wardany

The author, poet and women's rights advocate selects five of her favourite works that centre female subjects and the friendships between women

Woman at sunset

1. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Set in the heady whirlwind of Louisiana in the 1940s, this glorious depiction of female friendship entirely centres on the women and their relationships. Love interests, husbands, even children take second place to the tale of these women and their history. 

2. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

No one captures the agonising truth of womanhood like Taddeo. Three Women looks at female relationships with such searing insight it feels like your innermost thoughts have been put on the page. 

3. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montomery

This is the book that taught me, as a little girl, how to be a friend. The story of Anne and Diana is one of the great love stories of literature. A wonderful lesson in what it means to show up for your friend, and to love them through the years. 

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

4. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This novel is a brilliant commentary on race in America, but it’s also a wonderful depiction of female friendship, especially between women of colour. It very cleverly shows how white female friendships vary wildly from black women’s friendships, how these separate friendship groups must live and die by a different set of rules.  

5. Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

A wonderful portrayal of female friendships and what happens when those relationships begin to fracture. I adored reading about the complexities of female friendship and the work required to sustain them.

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany is out now (Trapeze, £14.99). You can buy it, and most of these titles, from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income. To support our work buy a copy!

If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Top 5 books on boxing, chosen by commentator Andy Clarke
Books

Top 5 books on boxing, chosen by commentator Andy Clarke

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw
Books

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know